Yeah, it was crazy at Disneyland today.
If you're used to visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, you might be wondering why Disneyland closed its Mickey and Friends parking structure around 2 this afternoon. Or why fans were complaining online about the wait time for the Winnie the Pooh rides exceeding 30 minutes at 5pm. (Winnie the Pooh!) Aren't weekdays in October supposed to be one of the few remaining slow times in the parks?
Well, it was Columbus Day today and while much of the country ignores the holiday, many schools in Orange County did get the day off. And since Disneyland's crowd levels are driven primarily by its hundreds of thousands of local annual passholders — instead of the guests from out of town that drive traffic at Walt Disney World — a day off of school when the SoCal Select annual passholders are not blocked from the park means big, big crowds.
That was the case today. If you are an out-of-town visitor, or just a local looking for an easier weekday to play hooky at Disneyland, how can you avoid getting caught out by a super-crowded day like today?
You need to compare two Web pages: Disneyland's AP blockout calendar and the combined school calendar for Orange County school districts. Days that are marked as "no school" on the school calendar and "good to go" on the Disneyland calendar for SoCal Select are your days to avoid at all costs.
The TL;DR? You should be okay for avoiding days like today for the next few months. But circle these dates next year as ones to avoid if you are looking for the smallest possible crowds at the resort:
Disneyland is splitting its AP blockout calendar by park in 2019, in large part due to the opening of the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land next summer. So if you are planning a visit that includes Disney California Adventure, you might also try to avoid June 3-5 and then Aug. 19-20, as those dates will be open to SoCal Select APs visiting DCA, while some school districts will be out of session for the summer.
Disney is blocking its SoCal Select APs through all of August next year at Disneyland, which should eliminate the super-crowded weeks in the middle of the month between the blockouts lifting and school starting that fans have encountered in years past.
In general, the best days to visit Disneyland remain the ones when the most annual passholders are blocked from visiting. So you're better off coming on Saturdays during vacation periods than other days of the week, and thanks to the blockouts of all APs except the $1,000-plus Signature Plus and Premier levels, Christmas week is now actually somewhat reasonable, instead of the complete human gridlock it had been in the past.
The new Star Wars land, of course, will change everything next summer, as Disneyland continues to adjust its ticketing and pass programs. But for now, a quick look at the AP blockout and local school calendars can save you some headaches on a Disneyland visit.Tweet
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